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Original Research

Open Access

Association between motor competence, and the rating of perceived exertion in male young adults

  • Fábio Saraiva Flôres1,2
  • Denise Soares3,*,
  • Virgínia Teixeira Hermann4
  • Clandio Timm Marques5
  • Nuno Casanova1
  • Renata Willig1
  • Joana Lourenço1
  • Priscila Marconcin1
  • Ana Filipa Silva2,6,7
  • Rafael Oliveira7,8,9

1KinesioLab, Research Unit in Human Movement, Instituto Piaget, 2805-059 Almada, Portugal

2Research Center in Sports Performance, Recreation, Innovation and Technology (SPRINT), 4900-347 Viana do Castelo, Portugal

3Liberal arts Department, American University of the Middle East, 54200-000 Kuwait City, Kuwait

4Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Centro de Educação Física e Desportos, Santa Maria, RS 97105-900, Brazil

5Universidade Franciscana, Departamento de Matemática, Santa Maria, RS 97010-032, Brazil

6School of Sports and Leisure, Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, 4900-347 Viana do Castelo, Portugal

7Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal

8Sports Science School of Rio Maior—Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, 2040-413 Rio Maior, Portugal

9Life Quality Research Centre, 2040-413 Rio Maior, Portugal

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2023.098 Vol.19,Issue 10,October 2023 pp.34-42

Submitted: 23 March 2023 Accepted: 15 May 2023

Published: 30 October 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Denise Soares E-mail:


The purpose of this study was two-fold: (i) to analyze the relationship between motor competence (i.e., a person’s ability to be proficient in different gross motor skills) and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE), which represents the physiological and psychological responses during training, in young adults, and (ii) to compare RPE between participants with high and low motor competence. Forty-eight male young adults (22.01 ± 2.43 years) participated in this study. Participants were randomly divided into several teams of three players to perform a small-sided game for 25 min (Goalkeeper+ 2 × 2 + Goalkeeper) in which the RPE was collected. Then, motor competence was assessed through six tests assessing three main components: stability (Jumping Sideways and Shifting Platforms); locomotor (Standing Long Jump and Shuttle Run), and manipulative (Velocity of Ball Kicking and Throwing). Motor competence was negatively associated with RPE (r = −0.64; p < 0.001). Moreover, locomotor, stability, and manipulative components were negatively associated with RPE (all, p < 0.05). Furthermore, upon comparing groups with low and high levels of motor competence, we observed significantly higher RPE values (p < 0.001; d = 0.32) in the low motor competence group. The findings from this study suggest that individuals with higher levels of motor competence may report a lower RPE during exercise. This information is valuable for coaches as improving levels of motor competence may potentially lead to increases in on-field performance.


Internal load; Exercise; Intensity; Youth; Sport; Small-sided games

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Fábio Saraiva Flôres,Denise Soares,Virgínia Teixeira Hermann,Clandio Timm Marques,Nuno Casanova,Renata Willig,Joana Lourenço,Priscila Marconcin,Ana Filipa Silva,Rafael Oliveira. Association between motor competence, and the rating of perceived exertion in male young adults. Journal of Men's Health. 2023. 19(10);34-42.


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